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Museums to Visit in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's towns and cities are full of interesting museums, from the well-known art institutes to the specialty centers exploring fascinating aspects of American culture.
America on Wheels Museum
There are many ways to make the most of your next stay in Pennsylvania. Plan a trip to the Poconos & Northeast region of the state, and be sure to explore the America on Wheels Museum. Found in Allentown, this impressive and must-visit-for-any-gearhead museum is 43,000 square feet of impressive autos and more.
Travel in from nearby Bethlehem or Quakertown and enjoy a tour of the America on Wheels Museum. There are three main galleries to explore, plus several other, smaller exhibit areas. Enjoy a bite to eat at the HubCap Cafe on the second floor, and be sure to see the 1889 Nagid Gas-Powered Carriage – one of the very first gas-powered vehicles.
Constitution in Historic Philly
A Guide to the Nation’s Most Important Document
The National Constitution Center is an impressive 160,000-square-feet of showcased American history. Check out of the original public copies of the Constitution – a must see during your time in Philadelphia's historic district – and wander through the interactive displays and exhibits of this expansive center.
Visitors of the National Constitution Center are encouraged to view the films “Freedom Rising” and “We the People” in the Kimmel Theater of the center. Take advantage of the many interactive displays like Signer’s Hall, where you can sign the constitution yourself.
You can even take the presidential oath – a recommended experience. Traveling and special exhibits are an extra treat, so see which ones are in town during your time at the center.
Just minutes from the National Constitution Center, the Best Western hotel in Philadelphia's historic district welcomes those looking to explore American history, and get a comfortable night’s sleep.
Mennonite Information Center
The world's oldest Amish settlement, the Mennonite Information Center is located in Lancaster. The center serves as a educational resource for visitors to learn about the faith and way of life for the Amish and Mennonite communities. While in the Philadelphia metro area, enjoy a guided tour of Lancaster County or learn how to quilt in the two-hour interactive seminar.
Stroll through the information center to view the exhibit and watch the short film entitled "Who Are The Amish?" for a better understanding of the lives of the Mennonites and Amish. Browse the selection of books and crafts in the bookstore, before leaving the center.
Zippo/Case Visitors Center
A 15,000-square-foot facility, the Zippo/Case Visitors Center showcases the history of Zippo Manufacturing and Case Cutlery.
The center is located in Bradford, north of Saint Marys in western Pennsylvania. Visitors to the center enjoy viewing the product displays and interactive media kiosks.
Learn about the history of Zippo and Case from the timeline inside the center and be sure to capture a picture of the impressive seven foot by 11 foot American flag made of 3,400 red, white, and blue Zippo lighters.
The 14 unique, custom-made street lights at the entrance to the center, feature five-foot-tall Zippo-shaped lights.
Andy Warhol Museum
The downtown area is home to one of four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. The 88,000-square-foot Andy Warhol Museum is a seven-floor facility named for the famed Pittsburgh-born artist.
The museum remains the largest of its kind in America honoring a single artist. In the 1960s, Warhol was instrumental in the pop art visual art movement. Stroll through this impressive museum to view the collection of work throughout its seventeen galleries.
The museum contains 4,000 photographs, more than 4,300 Warhol films, 900 paintings, over 90 sculptures, and more than 1,000 prints. Be sure to schedule plenty of time to view it all. The museum also features works of art by Warhol's mother, Julia Warhola. Before leaving, stop by the Museum Gift Store to browse the selection of videos, books and assorted Warhol items.
Eldred World War II Museum
Reconnect with the past during a visit to Eldred, located in north-central Pennsylvania. This small town, approximately 25 miles east of Bradford, is home to the Eldred World War II Museum. This wonderful museum strives to preserve the history of World War II, through the variety of artifacts and materials presented in the exhibits, while honoring all veterans.
Take your time strolling through the museum, to learn more about the events of World War II. View the collection of videos and the numerous war photographs. The Eldred World War II Museum welcomes groups from local schools, churches and civic organizations, as well as hosts military reunions.
expERIEnce Children's Museum
Located in downtown Erie, the expERIEnce Children's Museum has entertained families for nearly 20 years. Kids love the Bubble Machine, Bedrock Cave, Water Table, Corner Store, and the Aerodynamics exhibits. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum or sign up to participate in one of the classes.
Let the museum host your next birthday party or special occasion for a fun learning experience. Complete your downtown Erie visit, by walking to the Perry Square, the downtown park or enjoy a meal at one of the downtown restaurants in western Pennsylvania.
Fort Pitt Museum
History buffs in the Pittsburgh area have a wonderful option available in the heart of downtown. The Fort Pitt Museum is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at the beginning of the Ohio River, in Point State Park.
This Pittsburgh museum is a recreation of the original Fort Pitt, built by the British during the French and Indian War in 1758.
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission established the 12,000 square foot museum in 1969, to showcase the important historical events that occurred during the French & Indian War and American Revolution. In 2009, the Senator John Heinz History Center began managing the museum.
While at the park, be sure to view the 1764 Blockhouse, the only remaining original building on site and the oldest building in Pittsburgh. The Blockhouse was preserved by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
On your next trip to Pennsylvania, head for Lancaster and check out the Hands-on House. Ideal for an afternoon of exploration with the kids, Hands-on House is a non-profit children's museum where learning through playing is the name of the game.
Found just north of downtown Lancaster in central Pennsylvania, Hands-on House is open every day during the week except for Mondays and excluding major holidays.
Designed, mostly, for kids between the ages of 2 and 10, Hands-on House features a wealth of exhibits, sights, and games all centered around the idea of children learning and having fun in the process, all in a hands-on way.
National Civil War Museum
Found at Reservoir Park, the National Civil War Museum, located in Harrisburg in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, contains a collection of over 24,000 artifacts, photographs, and documents. A quarter of the collection, dating from 1850 through 1876, is on display. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum to better understand this historical time in America.
The life-size dioramas and the collection of world-class Civil War materials provide plenty of information for those wanting to learn more. Schedule a tour of the library and archives collection for additional research. Stroll the museum store to browse the selection of books, artwork, clothing, collectibles and souvenir items.
National Constitution Center
The only museum in America dedicated to the United States Constitution, the National Constitution Center is located two blocks from Independence National Historic Park and the Liberty Bell Center in historic downtown Philadelphia.
Enjoy "Freedom Rising" – an award-winning multimedia performance – before strolling through over 100 exhibits about the Constitution. The Story of We the People exhibit, remains the main attraction in the center. View the photographs, artifacts and sculptures to learn about the details of the Constitution.
While in Philadelphia, enjoy your time in the "most interactive history museum." There's so much to see and learn about in "The Birthplace of America."